Whilst the West quite rightly condemns the Syrian Regime for the latest civilian deaths in that country, yet more civilians have died at the hands of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Yes we all know that in War such things happen but once again we are playing a hypocritical role.
Hillary Clinton has taken to air to condemn Syria but as usual Afghanistan is brushed under the carpet. Yesterday a British soldier was killed in Afghanistan by an IED, improvised explosive device. Deaths in the military or civilian life in Afghanistan are all to be condemned.
What we often choose to forget though is the ordinary man, woman and child in Afghanistan who has been trying to live a semblance of normal life since 2001, when NATO forces entered that country. It was not a war in the traditional sense. There was no declaration of war between at least two parties. Terrorists were ruining Afghanistan and once the West began to feel the brunt of terrorist attacks it claimed that military action was a necessary "fight against terrorism". That made it easy to convince people in the West that this phoney war was valid, but not all were convinced.
As we all know people become terrorists for many reasons, not least if they have viewed oppression by outside forces and an invasion of their country. The USA and their fight against terrorism is ironic in many ways. Many in the USA not only applauded terrorists in Ireland and their bombing campaign against the UK, some even funded the violence. There was no talk of beating terrorists then. These people will say that the Irish terrorists had a valid cause one presumes, but we cannot choose to live by the sword without consequences, can we?
Imagine the UK or USA invaded by a foreign force. One that wants you to give up your way of life and adopt theirs. One that has no respect for your religion or way of life. Would you happily play ball with these invaders? We think not!
There are many insurgents in Afghanistan. Some will be nothing more than criminals. However there are many ordinary people who we are supposed to be helping not murdering. Not so long ago, supposedly one rogue US soldier, SSG Bates, entered the homes of Afghan civilians and killed 17 people, including children. The breaking news today, May 27, 2012, is that NATO forces have now killed eight civilians in their own home. The death toll is a family and so includes children. Six in fact.
In 2011, 3,021 Afghan civilians were killed as insurgents notched up their bombing campaign.Would these people have been killed with or without foreign forces being in Afghanistan?. According to the official figures of these deaths 77% were down to insurgent attacks and 14%% to what is often termed "friendly fire". This means almost 500 of the deaths may be attributable to foreign forces.In one year remember.
Many countries are finally racing for the exit door from Afghanistan. That is both good abd bad news. A handful of countries such as the UK and USA will be left "holding the fort". The situation is not stable and has not improved enough to guarantee a positive outlook for Afghanistan.
This week world leaders will waste money once more as they meet to discuss Syria. How many more meetings do they need? Much rightly will be made of the deaths but what about Afghanistan? When will be hear some news on the accused SSG Bates and the results of investigations into the many killings of civilians in Afghanistan.
Where do we go from here? You tell me.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog